When the 4000-page final report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples came out in 1996, every major media outlet covered it. Yet once the news event of the day passed, journalists (and, by extension, the general public) moved on. The public discourse fizzled before we got to discussing how to move forward, together, as a country.
Now, with the recent release of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, we have an opportunity to engage in a profound, if difficult, national conversation about the role of Indigenous people and nations in the future of Canada. Again, every journalism organization covered the release of the TRC’s Calls to Action, but there has been little sustained dialogue about how Canada might address them.
Since the fall of 2015, Discourse Media has been discussing and developing how we can collaboratively address the gap in public discourse around the multifaceted issues surrounding what we simplistically call “reconciliation.” This is not an easy topic to take on. In fact, many journalists approach the subject with trepidation or avoid it all together. The truth is that unless you are Indigenous and have experienced the traumatic effects that colonization and the residential school system have had, it’s exceedingly difficult to approach the subject matter without unknowingly doing further harm. Journalism has not always done a good job of covering Indigenous issues. We have contributed to the advancement of negative stereotypes and have managed to re-traumatize communities in our reporting. How do we ensure that we don’t continue to do that and instead move toward true reconciliation? We don’t do it alone.
Ways to get involved
Discourse Media’s editorial focus is informed by the TRC’s calls to action. If you are interested in collaborating with us in any of these areas of editorial focus, we want to hear from you:
Justice • Land rights and treaties • Health • Equitable education and outcomes • Aboriginal history • Language and culture • Child welfare • Economic development • Media change and responsibility
Share your stories with us
We believe journalism is a collective responsibility. The best story ideas come from the community — from the people who are living with the issues and witnessing the solutions firsthand. At Discourse Media, it’s really important to us to work with people, as opposed to reporting on them. This means we create space for feedback and ideas and make a genuine effort to listen. It means checking in and following up.
Partner with us
We want to extend the impact of our work by collaborating with media outlets and journalists already working on Indigenous issues. Let’s put aside our competitive instincts and work together to share content, resources and ideas that move us further toward reconciliation. If you are interested in working with us or re-publishing our content please contact us at [email protected].
Indigenous-led organizations and communities
We are looking to partner with more Indigenous organizations and communities to help inform our reporting and advise our editorial direction. We would like to work with our partners to help us reach communities to better prepare them for the kind of stories that will have an impact on them. We want to create mechanisms for feedback from these communities and continue to involve them in conversations before, during and after our reporting. Some of those stories can be featured in the First Person section of our website or as follow-up pieces in the Long Tail. If you are an Indigenous-led organization or community interested in collaborating with us, please contact us at [email protected].
Academic and research organizations
We are looking to work with organizations that are rich sources of expertise and data in each of the editorial areas we expect to focus on. Collaborate with our data journalists to help us make your work more easily understood by the broader public through our data visualizations and interactives. If you have data, expertise or resources connected to any of our editorial themes, we’d like to hear from you. Please get in touch at [email protected].
Discourse Media does not rely on advertising or subscriptions to fund our work. Our journalism is funded by organizations or individuals who share our values and want to see the same outcomes that we do. They have absolutely no influence whatsoever on what we write or how we write it. Maintaining journalistic integrity is critically important to us to keep us focused on creating journalism that is truly in the public interest. If you believe in the work we are doing and want to contribute to its continued development and delivery, then please let us know at [email protected].
Stay in touch
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